Well we’ve finally solved the mystery of who told Harpo to beat Sophia?
It was Stephen A Smith.
No, I’m kidding. This is what he actually said in his commentary about the Ray Rice suspension (according to this transcript from The Talking Points Memo):
“I think that just talking about what guys shouldn’t do, we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to try to make sure it doesn’t happen … but at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation,” he added. “Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them. Because we’ve got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don’t think that’s broached enough, is all I’m saying.”
Well, I will say that Smith is pretty consistent in his victim blaming. Back in March of this year, he was the lead scout in the cavalry to save Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who believes that everybody is a little bit racist and, in particular, are scared of Black men in hoodies. I mean, it’s only natural to be, right?
Back then, he didn’t “give a damn” what Black Twitter had to say and told us old time-y black folks we needed to chill because Cuban also mentioned some other prejudices he had against other “others” too. So you kind of expected him to hold the same level of ferocity when Michelle Beadle, co-host of SportsNation of ESPN 2, checked him via Twitter for his pretty foolish domestic violence victim blaming comments.
Instead he got all apologetic and accepting of his week-long suspension – even wishing the Twitterverse a heavenly “God Bless!” Now I’m not trying to say that Smith ended up looking like a flip-flopping, kowtowing shook one, but that’s what Kermit said…
And thank goodness the White woman did care enough to say something on behalf of Ray Rice’s wife, which last I’d recall was a Black woman, and check what are largely inaccuracies. A Black woman, who Smith had just got finished violating again (with his inaccuracies), after she had already been violated by her boyfriend/turned husband and by the Ravens organization in general.
Unlike what Smith believes, women needing to contemplate all they have to do “to try to prevent the situation from happening” has been “broached” before in our national dialogues around intimate partner violence – most times it has been “broached” to death In fact, these conversations about how women should go about not “provoking” our own victimizations has been drilled into the heads of little girls and women everywhere since we were old enough to be left alone with our first male relatives. We are taught about the dangers of our mini-skirts and how that is going to get us raped. We are taught about the dangers of drinking alcohol and how that is going to get us raped. We are taught to stick with friends in bright and crowded places, to avoid ponytails, buy special underwear and other anti-rape paraphernalia, scream “no” as loud and as long as we can – but not too loud because dudes hate it when you talk to much, stop dating thugs, being golddiggers and a whole host of other things, which are supposed to not “provoke” our getting raped or beat up.
The problem is that whenever we “broach” the single golden ways men can do to prevent crimes against women – and that is “don’t do it” – that’s when folks – mostly men but a few women-hating women too (I see you Whoopi), will start pulling out their Smokey the Bear-hat and reminding women again that it is up to them to prevent forest fires.
And yet in spite of all that teaching of women how to stop getting in the way of those flying fists and loose penises, the US Department of Health and Human Services, says that even to this day, between 85 to 90 percent of domestic violence victims are female. Likewise, domestic violence constitutes 22 percent of violent crime against females and 3 percent of violent crime against males. And even more startling, 70 percent of intimate homicide victims are female, and females are twice as likely to be killed by their husbands or boyfriends than murdered by strangers.
Perhaps the womenfolks are just not listening and doing enough to prevent stuff from happening to them. But according to the DHHS:
“Some people believe domestic violence occurs because the victim provokes the abuser to violent action, while others believe the abuser simply has a problem managing anger. In fact, the roots of domestic violence can be attributed to a variety of cultural, social, economic, and psychological factors.49 As a learned behavior, domestic violence is modeled by individuals, institutions, and society, which may influence the perspectives of children and adults regarding its acceptability. Abusive and violent behaviors can be learned through: Childhood observations of domestic violence; One’s experience of victimization; Exposure to community, school, or peer group violence; Living in a culture of violence (e.g., violent movies or videogames, community norms, and cultural beliefs).50”
Learned behavior. The kind that says, boys will be boys. The kind that teaches our children that the onus for all violent acts against women are women themselves. The kind that would like to conflate straw man arguments about these exceptional Amazonian women capable of inflicting physical harm with her bare hands and mighty spit, who runs up on dudes and phone checking them for their manhoods than what the reality is: some of y’all got issues.
It’s funny how Smith, along with the supporters of this “provocation” doctrine as an justification for the right to abuse women, usually are eerily silent when discussions around violence against Black men happen. There was no talk about whether Black men should start hitting back when those Staten Island cops allegedly choked Eric Garner to death or how the Jersey cop killer’s widow might have had a point – none of those eye for an eye advocates dared touch that one. Funny how many of these burly tough guys, who are so easily provoked into violence at their own alleged injustice can’t be moved to “treat like men” all the knuckleheads in the community, who rape and pillage. But there are plenty of marching and pontificating behind podiums with petitions and calls to stop the violence though.
And even Smith, who never backs down from his own Bill Cosby-esque sass and provocation of the black community and Black women, suddenly submits, when his own livelihood is at stake. Now he understands self-control.